What does commitment in a relationship mean to you? What is the difference between commitment and compromising in your intimate relations? These are questions we have asked ourselves many, many times in our lives and in our relationships together. It is an ongoing inquiry for us and something we find important and significant on our path of Conscious Relating.
Working with many couples and individuals over the years, we realize that commitment and compromise are essential points to explore for those who want to manifest a loving, intimate connection.
One point to look into is our commitment to what and who? This brings up a question for us about our values in relationships. Most of us were taught growing up that marriage, or a committed relationship, meant sacrifice – ‘til death do us part – where the essence and sacredness of commitment easily fell under the weight of pleasing the other and compromising our individual needs and the expression of our personal feelings and values. Today, the divorce rate among western countries is around 50%. This indicates that something is off in the way we are approaching commitment, right? These numbers are not taking into consideration how many people stay together but are not happy.
How would it be if we played around with something different together, to see what would happen, if our focus and commitment wasn’t on “the ‘til death do us part” but on an alive “energetic field of connection” that we create and share together in the present moment?
This might sound a bit strange but when we are intimate with someone, we create an energetic connection, a bond, a kind of “love bubble” which unites two people and creates an intimate space between them. This “love field” has needs almost like a living individual entity of its own; it needs attention, care and dedication. You can say it’s like having a child together in an energetic form. The love field becomes something both people are equally responsible for taking care of it and to remain attuned to it, in order for this “love bubble” to grow and expand. Therefore, our commitment is no longer focused on the other but towards the love itself.
Love Field basic needs:
• need for interdependence (connection)
• need for protection & safety (healthy boundaries)
• need for autonomy (individuality)
• need for nourishing physical touch (not only sex but touch with presence)
• need for celebration (having fun together)
• need for spiritual connection
• need for a shared vision, feelings and values (to be listened to and understood)
Another point worth looking into is the fear of commitment. So many times in relationships, we don’t go deeply into our commitment for intimacy because we are afraid that we will compromise our freedom. It is very common that when those “reactions or triggers” do come up, we don’t know how to identify and deal with them. This is especially true when the relating provokes our unresolved traumas and wounds from the past, and we easily become moody, isolated, judgmental, aggressive, submissive, depressed etc. in order to not expose ourselves in our vulnerability.
We need to learn how to share what we feel, to build enough trust to be honest and reveal ourselves the way we are in our shadow and in our light. Commitment is the very foundation on which all this exploration can happen because it creates a solid and grounded center within which can move though these deep layers of insecurity, like the fear of separation and the fear of invasion.
We need tools to be able to “turn the page” and break through the patterns of immature love, to go deeper within ourselves through our relationships and come to an authentic and empowered commitment. As we understand commitment, it’s something very personal: it happens first from within ourselves as an internal understanding and then extends to the love field. It comes from an inner wisdom and longing to grow and develop personally and spiritually. When the commitment is focused primarily from within – for example, that I want love in my daily life so much that I am willing to look within myself and discover what it is in ME which is preventing love from flowing, then the power is in my hands – it becomes possible to live in a committed relationship without compromising. It takes a cultivation of awareness, understanding and tools to walk this on-going journey to Conscious Relating.
What are some personal commitments that can support a shift towards this way of relating?
Here are some examples of personal commitments & values which we found supportive:
1. I commit to sharing my feelings. Not blaming the other, but honestly sharing what I feel as it is, without right or wrong judgments.
2. I commit to participate in creating emotional safety in the love field.
3. I commit to learn to contain my negative reactions when I don’t get what I want and not let my negativity poison the love field.
4. I commit to repair when distance and separation in the connection has taken place.
5. I commit to be curious about what might be provoked within me from my past stories.
6. I commit to tell the truth and be honest, even if the other might momentarily be disappointed and not love me.
7. I commit to express my needs and feel and share my vulnerability which might come up when doing so.
8. I commit to stay open to learn about myself through the mirror of my relationships.
We hope this can inspire a curiosity within you to discover your way and make a shift towards connection and freedom in your relationships. We can make a difference in this world by transforming ourselves and the relationships we create. We see this as a fascinating responsibility and a strong commitment to face up to and live out what is essential.
With love and respect
Talib & Shubhaa